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How to Make: Penny Buttons

Friday, June 11, 2010

I love all the military styles in fashion right now - and especially the ornate dome buttons lining the vests and jackets. Trouble is, the buttons can be pricey. The least expensive ones I could find at my craft store were $3 each - and I needed 20. Yikes!

Well, remember that cool dime necklace I bought last month? It inspired me. So, John and I took a trip to the hardware store to see what we could use to hammer coins into domes.

Little did we know we'd find THIS:

It's called a Doming Block, and its sole purpose is to hammer things into domes! How cool is that?!?

John has almost every tool known to man, and even *he* didn't know this thing existed. We stumbled across it in one of the aisles, and it was the only one the store had. I'm calling it fate. :D

And look what it does!

Woohoo!




It's a little tricky at first, of course, and requires some serious pounding with a giant mallet, but once I got into the swing of things [smirk] I was zipping through the change jar.

John and I also had fun seeing what a difference a blow torch makes - but that's for another post. ("Fire!")

Anyway, once you have your dome pennies, here's all you need to turn them into ├╝ber cool buttons:

The epoxy putty is dark blue with a white interior, and you knead the two together to activate it. Make sure you work in tiny amounts, though; that five minutes goes fast! Also, plan to have epoxy on your fingers for the next three days. (They claim it washes off, but that's only if you wash it off within those five minutes. Which I didn't.)

Once your epoxy is kneaded together, squish a small amount into the penny and set an O ring in it. Like so:

I never quite got the amounts consistent, but I think it looks best if the epoxy fills the penny completely. Of course, no one ever sees the backside of a button, so it doesn't really matter... unless you're me, or OCD, or both.

Two things to remember when setting your rings:

1) Make sure the jointed side of the O ring is *inside* the epoxy. If it's not, your threads will pull the ring open later.

2) Use a toothpick to check the ring's depth before the epoxy hardens. If the ring is too low you won't get a needle through it later, so give yourself enough room to work with.

And that's it!

I used mine on our new dining room curtains:

From a distance the pennies just look like copper rivets, of course, but I love having a little surprise for friends to discover when they get up close.

We just finished the curtains this week - complete with nautical rope and copper piping tie-backs, which look sooo cool. Those were also made on the cheap; I'll put up a quick tutorial with progress shots soon.

I plan to have lots more fun with my Doming Block: aged quarters make amazing button accents, and I'm eying the new penny shield design for a cool bubble bracelet - I just have to figure out how best to glue the two halves together. Any of you know anything about soldering pennies?

And while I've got you here, do you guys like this tutorial kind of thing? I mean, *I* do, but since I'm still new to non-cake blogging, I'd appreciate your feedback. If there's something you'd rather see more of: art, jewelry, other blogs, me telling funny stories about John, etc., just say the word. I'm sure I could annoy you on all kinds of different subjects. ;)

Posted by Jen at 10:25 PM Labels: ,

260 comments:

  1. I *love* this sort of thing!

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  2. I happen to enjoy the occasional tutorial. Keep it up! BTW: I have used that epoxy before. Trust me, wear gloves.

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  3. Wheeee! I'm actually the first to comment on a Jen post?!!! yay! Unless that means that everyone else is out partying on a Friday night... which is also fine with me! ;)
    I love this kind of post; I get to learn about cool new things I would normally never know about, and maybe have a new project to boot? Bonus! The shopping / interesting items to buy are great too, and thanks to you I have learned that I LOVE steampunk!!! (even bought an orb pendant from that birdznbeez Etsy site you featured!)
    So thank you, and keep the great and weird and odd and interesting stuff coming! :)

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  4. LOVE the tutorial type thing. I want to see the full curtains and more pics of your decor. :) I really love your new blog a lot. I check it daily to see if anythng is new. You are doing great. Oh yeah....you can throw any silly stories in also. hehe Those are always fun to hear.

    Rashelle

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  5. I'm enormously entertained by this and think you're terribly clever. I haven't a crafty bone in my body whic is a big bummer. Mr. Tonks does, though, so I get an idea and say, "Wouldn't it be awesome if you did ____?" and I make him do it.

    Then again, I'm home trolling blogs on a Friday night. So it's possible you should take my effusing with a grain of salt.

    Pennies are copper (duh) so I would imagine you could get a soldering gun used for plumbing purposes and use it for soldering pennies.

    Also, have you tried acetone or paint thinner to get the epoxy off your hands?

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  6. You're going about this all wrong. Rather than asking what people want to see, you say, "It's my blog, and I'll post what I want to!" I mean, wasn't that the point of the spin-off?

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  7. That's such an attractive tool! I really like the tutorial -- I'm sure I can think of some uses for penny-button. I also like hearing about your steampunk room in general. I can only aspire to have such a place some day!

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  8. I think this is brilliant, but then I <3 all things Steampunk. Any chance we could see the rest of the curtains?

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  9. Wow, that is one awesome tool. :D I must see if I can find one as those buttons look amazing.

    I love the idea of tutorials, I'm a crafty person and love getting ideas for new projects.

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  10. Put my vote in for "I love this kind of tutorial thing" Those buttons are the coolest things I've seen in a while. I want to make them myself! How much did the Domino Block cost? What kind of mallet did you use? Love it!

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  11. Jen, I love every single post that you write on here. And I love the tutorial things. (:

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  12. I love these DIY tutorials! Keep em coming!

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  13. thts the most amazing thing ever, my friend and i had a huge fight a long time ago over a stray domed nickle earring, i wish i could have seen this first :)

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  14. crafty tutorials = awesomeness! I am enjoying your non-cake blog very much. Love the steampunk themed design ideas, and all the other great geeky fun.

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  15. OMG! I want one! (the tool, that is)

    More posts like this please!

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  16. Love, love, LOVE the how-to tutorials. You're giving me some great ideas. Please keep it going!

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  17. You know it's nothing I've ever been interested only because I didn't know it existed, and nothing I'll ever do, but I love the post! Even though it's not MY thing, I love seeing something so creative and hearing a fun story about finding exactly what you need, and seeing a cool result! It's good all around!

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  18. More of this. I love every minute of it and i'm drooling over those curtains!

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  19. LOVE the tutorial. And while I'm at it: Love BOTH your blogs:) Lucia

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  20. I LOVE these! What an awesome idea, if I can ever get through my stack-o-crafts (so my honey will let me buy some more) I'm gonna get me one of those doming blocks! I like this tutorial entry, keep 'em coming. It's one thing to see a cool product you made (your curtains) it's quite another to see just how you did it. Also, did you try making an epoxy ball to put inside 2 domed pennies? I don't know if that would work to make a sphere, or if it would just goop out the sides and be lame, but just a non-soldering option that came to mind. Thanks!

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  21. I am not sure I have told you this... I love you.

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  22. So. Freaking. Cool! I want one of those tools!!

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  23. These are SO cool. LOVE them!

    And, yes, love the tuts. Especially ones like these, where I haven't seen the end product before.

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  24. LOVE the tutorial posts Jen! Makes my inner craft geek go Squee. And now I must find one of those dome makers.

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  25. I LOVE my doming block set. it is a wonderful jeweler's tool.

    and if you are a hard core steampunk lover you need to check out some of the fun things made by OddFae http://tinyurl.com/oddfae

    and Christie Friesen....queen of steampunk and polymer clay
    http://www.cforiginals.net/steampunk.html

    have a great evening!!

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  26. OK, first off - envy over your doming kit! I'm going to have to see if I can get something like that here in Australia.
    Second - I *love* these sorts of post! Way to inspire and get the creative juices flowing!

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  27. I love seeing your how to posts. That is soo cool! Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to more. (My husband thought it was really cool too.)

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  28. LOVE the tutorial! Thank you - would love to read any others you want to share.

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  29. I love these kind of posts and your curtains are AWESOME!
    Idea for the bracelet - could you punch two holes in opposite sides of the penny and wire them together into a bracelet?
    Personally, I think it is a brilliant idea and if you want to make me a bracelet for suggesting it, I'll demurely accept. [|8{
    (I was going to put a smiley emoticon, but I thought my mustachioed man with a top hat and goggles might be more appreciated.)

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  30. Jen, I've never left a comment, but this post really, really, really deserves one. These tutorials are awesome. I hope you don't mind me ripping off some of your ideas in the future. I love how those penny buttons turned out! How cool!

    And for the record, anything and everything you want to include would be great. Epbot and Cake Wrecks are the first two blogs I read in the mornings. IMO, they're like a balanced breakfast: they start my day out right! ;-)

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  31. That's very cool - looks great, and I'd never heard of that tool either.

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  32. Keep the tutorials coming! This is awesome.

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  33. Wow. That's freaking rad. I love it.

    Also, I think this blog is just about a perfect mix of the various topics you touch on. You're doing an excellent job. I love reading both your blogs. : )

    WV: eateding - When you can't tell if you've eaten something or are still in the process of eating it.

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  34. LOVE it!! I've been wondering how all those etsy folks make those adorable domed coin things. Can't speak for others, but I'm enjoying the steampunk dining room updates and all the random stories. Keep up the awesome work! :)

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  35. Hey Jen! Loooove your blog! I especially like all of your funny posts about your life with John. Also, the jewelry you display rocks! Thanks so much!

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  36. I love tutorials and really, really want to see more of those curtains! Thanks for sharing your cool find this week.

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  37. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing, I had no idea anything like this existed!

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  38. Um...that's pretty awesome.
    I knew you were a cake dork, but who knew you were crafty, too?

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  39. very cool - and i can't wait to see more of the curtains!

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  40. Those are fantastic!!! And YES to tutorials!

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  41. I love how creative you are, Jen. Please keep the tutorials coming!

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  42. How fun! I've never seen a tool like that before. Ah, that epoxy stuff is basically mighty putty. It stinks even after you wash your hands, but holy cow does it ever hold things in place!

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  43. those curtains are AWESOME! I would love to see a tutorial on how you made them!!!

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  44. This is so cool! And even though I would probably never make some of these things myself, it's really interesting to read about them. So I say, keep it up!

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  45. Dearest Jen,
    YES! Please keep posting your tutorials and creations. I love them. I also love that you're OCD. It makes me feel more normal (I'm so anal). Believe it or not, you are super interesting and hilarious - so whatever you have to say I will happily read.
    Keep crafting!
    -ang

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  46. Those penny buttons look fantastic! I need to get me one of those doming blocks.

    I love tutorials and I'm already looking forward to your next one.

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  47. Aren't doming blocks THE coolest toy?? My husband is a blacksmith and he has made some of THE coolest toys with them! If you like the look of hand-hammered rivets, you can move things around a little on the doming block as you hit, and it will leave those cool little indentions all over the object!

    I absolutely LOVE the tutorial (or as I call them, the how-I-did-it/where-I-found-it section) info.

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  48. I LOVE the crafy ideas! Please keep them coming:) And also pictures of your place!

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  49. Oh my gosh, I love that! I'm sure I need domed coins somewhere in my house, now I just need to figure out where... Hm, maybe in place of the push pins holding up some of the smaller curtains.

    DIY and steampunk both equal awesome, in my book. Especially both at once. Please post more!

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  50. I'm not a crafty type person, but I love living vicariously through other people's crafts! So I say, tutorial to your heart's content. :-D

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  51. Now THAT is AWESOME! Tutorials are great, too... :)

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  52. How freakin' cool is this!?! I like the tutorial type of thing. I would also love to see more of your steampunk stuff.

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  53. Holy schmoley, that's awesome! As a closet pyro, I can't wait to see what you guys did with the blow torch.

    (And by closet pyro, I don't mean I light fires in my closet. Just wanted to make that clear.) ;)

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  54. I love DIY posts, keep 'em coming! Even if I don't try them, I'm always inspired by others craftiness, of which I am greatly lacking!

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  55. Love! Yes, to answer your question -- I <3 how-to posts like this. Keep 'em coming!

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  56. I would love to read more about art and jewelry and everyone enjoys a good husband story once in a while. :)

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  57. oh my god! I love it! I so want to make some buttons now, but don't have any idea what to make buttons for :)

    btw- I really love this blog in all formats!

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  58. I love DIY posts! It's one thing to look at design magazines, but it's more enjoyable for me to see how real people find ingenious ways to decorate their home/clothes/craft projects. I want to see what your dining room looks like in the end. Keep 'em coming!

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  59. So impressive! I bet your dining room looks amazing. I can't even gather up the drive to fold my towels. My idea of redecorating is buying a new paper towel holder for the kitchen. :/ You should post many more pictures.

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  60. I'm always up for getting craftsy, but I don't always have an idea what to make, so this would work fabulously for me :)

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  61. Well I certainly found this tutorial AWESOME and would love to see more like it in the future.

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  62. Personally, I found this really interesting. Can't wait to hear more about the accents on the curtains. I'm kinda jealous that I don't have a doming block.

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  63. Oh my goodness, I so want one of these dome maker thingys! I wonder if my local hardware store carries them??? Hmmm, I'm seeing a trip to the hardware store tomorrow!

    I LOVE the penny buttons! I love how they look...I can't wait to make some!

    As for putting the two dome pennies together, I haven't a clue...perhaps a glue of some sort??? Epoxy?? What if you punched a hole in them instead??

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  64. YES. Do more of these! I want so desperately to steampunk my study (when I get one) and especially on my computer, and I am always looking for new ideas. Your blog is chock-full of them, and I've loved every one! Keep it up!

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  65. keep the tutorials coming! I love all the creative decorating you do.

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  66. Oh dear... I may have to go shopping for tools now. (Pennies GALORE here. Patina intact.)





    LOL Thanks for the info. I plan to make much use of the instructions provided. MUCH.

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  67. I'm really enjoying EVERYTHING I'm reading on your new blog. You post about things I've never heard or thought of before! Keep it up! You are so creative!

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  68. Love your tutorial posts! I'm all thumbs with home/art/craft/any projects, so ideas and tips are endlessly helpful.

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  69. love the tutorial!! can't wait for more on the curtains!!

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  70. I've been reading Cake Wrecks for a while now and was super excited when you started this blog. I think you have a great mix of topics and I look forward to what I'll find on here the next day! your hilariously witty comments crack me up both here and on CW. Keep up with the stories, photos tutorials and everything you want to share. It is your blog after all, and I'm sure we'll all be reading regardless of what nonsense you throw at us! ;)

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  71. I now need to find me one of those kits! I can think of all kinds of fun projects!

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  72. Great tutorial - the curtains look amazing!

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  73. I like tutorials! It's nice to have a reference if I ever get ambitious enough to play with steampunk stuff myself.

    The pennies are very cool, btw. A friend of mine makes stuff like this all the time; I know she'd be interested in it.

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  74. I love the DIY stuff! Keep it up (especially things that could be used for steampunk-esque designs)! I am of course open to funny stories, too. :)

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  75. That last paragraph made me laugh! I for one love all the randomness here (I love the well-tuned machine that is CW as well!).

    I read because I want to hear from you. Do what you 'feel', don't stress about the audience - if I don't like a post so much, I'll still be back for the next one and I dare say a lot of your readers are the same.

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  76. So far I've loved every blog you've done! I love hearing about the trinkets and ideas, the tutorials are funky and I'd love every now and then a funny story tossed in just to shake things up a bit!

    Keep going the way you are - its perfect!

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  77. I didn't know that tool existed either. wow! I, for one, like the tutorials. I figure its your blog, you post what you want.
    R-

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  78. In 1982, the Mint started switching to copper-plated zinc pennies* with all of them made that way since 1983. Zinc melts at a much lower temperature than copper (787 °F vs. 1984 °F) so it might be challenging to solder. *Purists insist that it be called a "cent".

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  79. Your penny buttons looks fabulous on your curtains. What a nice, surprise touch. And yes, I enjoyed your tutorial. Have anything else to teach us? lol

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  80. I have absolutely no need for penny buttons, but now I want a doming block just so I can play, too. I'm sure I could then proceed to find some use for the penny buttons.

    Also, your curtains look spiffy, for lack of a better word.

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  81. Besides that last spelling of "Doming block" as "Domino block" causing me to search the games and toys section of Google(tm) shopping, I'm a big fan of the tutorial. I especially appreciate this one.

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  82. I love stopping by and seeing what new, random, interesting, funny, awesome thing you have to say. :D

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  83. One of my favorite jewelry tools! It's so much fun heating up the metal and pounding away, adding small divots here and there. Enjoy your new tools!

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  84. Oh oh I vote for some funny stories about Jon to go with these how to posts :). Then again I am still wondering how in the heck they put pennies in those tiny jars with the cork tops on them. Yeah random thought I know but cake wrecks ruined my brain for the night lol :)

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  85. This post is made of awesome. I love how those pennies turned out! Question - at which store did you find the dome tool? I've never seen one in our stores, and I'd love to get one!

    One suggestion - perhaps instead of standard jump rings, one might use soldered jump rings (no opening, so no chance of the thread slipping out no matter how the ring is placed in the epoxy). A quick search produced these - http://www.etsy.com/listing/48933114/25-antique-brass-19-gauge-8mm-closed?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_type=user_shop_ttt_id_5987502 . I'm sure there are others out there as well.

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  86. SUPER AWESOME!!!! please please please post more like these :) you are so creative!

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  87. I'm not very crafty, but I thought these came out great. This was a very interesting topic.

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  88. Omygoodness! That's awesome! I think my husband and I might just have to go find those dome block set or order it off the internet. He likes to do metalsmithing and armor smithing and I like to make awesome costumes.

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  89. I love it! Even if they are things I will probably never do (imagining me and quick dry glue is pretty scary), it's still great to spur ideas and see what's out there. It's also cool stuff in and of itself.

    I am loving the new blog in general =)

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  90. You know, I love it if you posted more star wars posts and played Star wars Knights of the old republic I, and then made a review about it! Plus I would love to read more about your life, cause I laugh hysterically every time.

    LOVE every blog post that you post.

    Stay cool! great wondrous blogger woman of super-cool blogging powers!

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  91. I really like these kinds of posts, I would love links to though. Like where did you get that doming block, how much was it, can I come to your house at knight and take it?? No ok then where so I can get one and make fun things too!!

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  92. One thing you can do to ensure that the rings are always at the same depth would be to use a sewing needle (or toothpick), place it through the ring, and lay it across the top of the dome.

    That way, you can fill the penny all the way to the top with epoxy and you'll always be ensured that the ring is a little bit over the top.

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  93. I'm a crafter newly experimenting with drills and hammers, so I find this kind of tutorial fascinating. Thanks!

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  94. oh keep the tutorial thingies coming. I make my own jewellery and bits and pieces and love it when others post ideas and things they have done also. I'm planning on making a wine-bottle necklace (like your seahorse one a few posts back) just as soon as I win a jewellery competition I'm in at the moment.

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  95. I adore tuts like these...even though I am on a rampage to get my hands on a doming block now...lol

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  96. Wow that thing looks incredible *must try and find one* A tutorial would be great

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  97. I love learning new mediums. Mine is flowers and that can go in crazy directions but working the same thing over and over again gets less expressive and more mundane and predicatble. This is beautiful you are most definately multi talented.

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  98. I love EPBOT!!
    Im all amped to creat something now. At 3am. crap. I should create some sleep.

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  99. LOVE IT! and totally going to find me a doming device, I want to plaaay!!

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  100. I love tutorials, and this one is fantastic! I wonder if they have those doming kits over here in Ireland.

    Really glad you set up this blog, Jen. I always get a smile on my face when I see there's a new post on my RSS feed!

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  101. That is at least twelve different kinds of AWESOME! :)

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  102. I love the tutorial things. You give me the best ideas! I'm coming round to the idea of steam-punking my living room because of you.

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  103. Yes, PLEASE keep posting exactly this kind of thing. I'm still in love with your seahorse the other day and your design aesthetic is wonderful. This is my new favorite blog!

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  104. Jen, I had no idea you were so crafty! You never cease to amaze me.

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  105. Doming blocks are indeed awesome, but there are a few things to learn for those who did not learn to use one formally:

    (1) Treat the tools with respect. In particular, do not let the doming balls or wells get any marks or dents in them, or those dents will get transferred to anything you try to dome in them, which is not cool.

    (2) Always work from the largest dome down to the one you want, one size at a time. And it shouldn't take too much force, so if you feel like you're really working at it, you need to bring it back up a notch.

    Good luck!

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  106. Those are neat!!! Makes me want to go find a doming block, even though I'd have no clue why I'd actually use it LOL I love your little tutorials! And I can't wait to see what your playdate with the blowtorch looks like :)

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  107. looks like a fun way to get aggression out! loving the new blog...including any and all DIY. Would love to see more dining room pics!

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  108. oh my gosh, i LOVE this idea! i had no idea that could even be done and how in-expensive!! for just pennies - literally!

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  109. This is just superfunawesomesauce!

    I'd love to see more DIY posts and I love the posts with the "stuff Jen finds cool" stuff.

    And of course, the silly stories are great too.

    Whatever you post, just keep posting...we're reading!

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  110. Seriously, Jen--you never fail to entertain no matter WHAT you do! So do how the spirit moves!

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  111. That.is.amazing.

    I never gave my father enough credit, it seems... it wasn't until recently that I realized how one can, easily, spend an hour lost in the hardware store. I won't admit it, but I kind of love Home Depot.

    Tutorials are fun. Especially when I read it and say, "I need to do that!"

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  112. Wow, I've never seen a tool like that! You about blew me away with your creative-ness. I'm with all the others who want to see more of those curtains, too. Great stuff! I love DIY and tutorials, but really, this is your blog. Blog what YOU want! :) Happy Saturday to you!

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  113. Those are AWESOME!!! I want to see your curtains full view. They look beautiful!

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  114. Dude, your tutorial is awesome. I'm amazed by creative people and it's really interesting to see your processes. More, please!

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  115. I agree with the "you do what makes you happy and we will continue to love it" camp! How do you fit all these ideas inside your noggin?!

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  116. That is SO COOL. And when you're not too busy, can you come to my house and make me a steampunk dining room? kthanks.

    My grandpa used to make us little pins by soldering dimes to a safety pin...he'd try to trick you by asking if you wanted a "diamond pin" but really he was saying "dime-and-pin."

    I don't know exactly why I thought of that. But I did. So I thought I'd share. But I guess at the least it's evidence that soldering change is pretty easy to do :p

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  117. i like everything you've written so far, and i like tutorials things, so yes!

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  118. Oh my goodness, thank you!!! I was looking for copper buttons and now I know what to do!

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  119. Tutorials are awesome and I'd love to see some more!

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  120. I love those pennies on those curtains! Genius! I can't believe you found that fancy dome-making thing in Home Depot. It's truly fate because I NEVER find what I want there!

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  121. I love the tutorial!

    Even if I never make the things I read about, they inspire me and you never know when a little something from one project will be useful in another.

    Please share more!

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  122. That is so cool! Keep the tutorials coming.

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  123. Those look awesome!! And how cool to be able look at it knowing that YOU made it! The bubble bracelet sounds cool too... could you post pics of that once you figure out how to make it?

    I love the tutorials, too! Funny stories every now and then are great too, although your commentary usually cracks me up, no matter the subject :) Love both your blogs!

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  124. So cool! I'd love to try my hand at this. Which hardware store did you find doming tool at? I've never seen one in a store. Thanks :)

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  125. I love, love, LOVE this. I want to make buttons for everything, and I don't even really have anything to make buttons for...

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  126. Of all the posts I've read, both here and on CW, there hasn't been one that I have not enjoyed. I'm always up for a little humor, a little DIY, a little Ghostbusters ...the list goes on. Go with your gut and post what you think is best. I know I'll like it!
    Thank you for everything!

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  127. Yes, I'd love to see the occasional tutorials like this. The curtains look great, by the way.

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  128. As with every other post so far on this blog, I love this! I don't think I could pick between all of the different styles of topics you tackled so far.

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  129. The result is gorgeous! Now I want a little doming thing... But that would probably mean I'd dome everything (Like, EVERYTHING). Do you remember how much it was? Your dining room must look like it belongs in a magazine by now. :D

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  130. LOVE this post - must say, steampunk isn't necessarily *my* style, but this post was totally cool!!!

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  131. I really enjoy these tutorials - and my favorite thing about this blog is the variety of topics! I always enjoy the funny stories about John and/or your daily life, as well... you know what they say: "Variety is the best pizza topping!" (Or something like that.) :D

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  132. It's not really my thing, but it was interesting. As long as you throw in some posts every once in a while, I'll definitely keep reading. I like your style.

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  133. I love tutorial type posts! This is super cool. I really admire how much DIY you do - and how well it seems to turn out. Definitely impressed.

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  134. I love DIY stuff, but I also love all the other geekery stuff you've posted. So just keep up the good work--you're doing awesome and keeping us all entertained! :)

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  135. That was fun! I love to see that kind of thing, but I especially love funny stories about you guys.

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  136. LOVE the idea of tutorials! You are creative and inspiring and I appreciate your unique ideas. Thank you for your blogs.

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  137. Love posts like this! Both your blogs are great. That's such a neat idea, I love DIY projects. I'm all about being able to customize things with personal flair!

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  138. I LOVE tutorials! Of course, I love the other stuff you post too. :)

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  139. LOVE it! Looks amazing- great find!

    And yeah, love the crafty tutorials.

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  140. I LOVE this! it inspires me to do more creative stuff. Thanks!!!!

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  141. I like them, but I wouldn't want tutorial posts to be the only thing on your blog. The new car story was hilarious!

    You never gave the price of the doming thingy? Because that is very cool.
    And...here is a suggestion. Why stick to clean new pennies? If you want to do a nautical theme, why not use some corroded green pennies? They are copper, right (pre 1983 that is)?

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  142. This is so effing cool. Please keep posting things like this, along with your usual geek-girl content. This is quickly becoming my new favorite blog.

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  143. You know what looks absolutely amazing? A flattened teaspoon, bent into a bracelet. My mom has one that her friend made her before I even existed. It keeps the spoon shape but its just soo pretty, and its nice and different and spunky

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  144. E6000 - that's what you can glue your domed pennies together with. It dries up fast in the tube, though, so buy the smallest one. Put your epoxy in to fill up the space, then when dry cement the two with E6000. It's awesome!

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  145. I'm about to enter the realm of impoverished-studenthood, so I'm permanently keeping an eye out for how to do crafty things on the cheap. Your inventiveness always inspires me. :)

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  146. Amazing Jen!

    I love the tutorial, but I think pretty much anything that comes out of your mouth (off your fingers?) is entertaining. You'd probably make reading a phonebook snarky & fun. :)

    Keep it up!

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  147. Jen! Yes! This is incredibly awesome. I would never even considered such a thing.

    Actually, I have a thrifted military style coat that I love to bits, but I've lost a button here or there.

    Would you be willing to sell a handful of these awesome penny buttons? Because I would totally pay you for them. With money. And hearts.

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  148. YES! Love the tutorials! Keep 'em coming!

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  149. Love these! And love hearing funny stories, too. Keep it up!

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  150. I love your tutorials, especially about fun crafty things you're working on. I am always looking for new ideas, and I have never heard of the doming tool either, so I kinda want to go buy one now!!

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  151. that is the coolest thing ever! Thanks for sharing :)

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  152. more..... more ????? more!!!!!

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  153. I was introduced just a few weeks ago to Cake Wrecks by my co-worker and have really enjoyed both it and this new blog -- both are now the prime targets of my RSS! I quite enjoy the craft, decorating and tutorial posts. I know mostly fiber crafts, so I really like reading about your metal and found-item works, since that's where my knowledge lacks.

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  154. To answer you last question, I've enjoyed everything you have posted so far on here. It's a wonderful blend of everything, although light on the posts about funny things your husband does :) Keep up the great work!!

    oh, and I would be the exact same way making sure the epoxy putty was perfect on the buttons; I would also get epoxy stuck on my fingers too and then forget to use gloves the next time I used it!

    wv: dingst - the noise made when using a doming block

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  155. enjoys heating and beating metal... especially when it involves castingJune 12, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    gah!!!!!!!!!!! i love metal-smithing, so this is an awesome post!!!!!! (and i know what happens when you heat it heh heh... i know a lot about metal and fire)

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  156. I absolutely love your tutorials. I am not crafty at all and you have given me some wonderful ideas! Please keep sharing.
    Cyndi :)

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  157. You can solder two half-domes together pretty easily, but it's tricky keeping the solder from running outside the seam and blemishing your design.
    When working on similar projects I found it was best to hold the two halves together and place small pieces of solder on the outside of the seam, then melt them one at a time so the solder melts into the domes. I've had better luck with a soldering iron for this part since it gives more precise control than a flame.
    If you're using a flame and are concerned about the melting point of the pennies you can use the softest available solder which should melt almost instantly.
    Wow, I really didn't mean to come off like such an internet know-it-all there. Anyway, I love the blog!

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  158. Oh...smashing pennies into art! And I'm guessing these buttons cost a lot less than three dollars each; more like one ce- ok, never mind. :) Keep up the fun tutorials! They are mad, mad artistic skills.

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  159. Those are BEAUTIFUL! :D I would -love- to see more artsy/tutorial things. C: Now I need a Doming Block. Hee hee - the Doming Block itself looks and sounds steampunky!

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  160. absolutely do tutorials

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  161. Funny stories about John please!!

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  162. I would *love* to read more how-to posts! Or more photos, or more stories...but those penny buttons are seriously cool!

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  163. These are wicked cool!! I would probably never do it but it's good to know just in case. I like the tutorials but I really like funny stories. How about like a cool post with some memorable, and funny, childhood stories? That would rock.

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  164. I love the tutorials as well as the rest. I love learning new ways to do things as well as the pictures of the outcome. Bring on the art!

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  165. I love these kind of tutorial things! If it's not too much trouble I'd really like it if you did more.

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  166. *Love* the tutorial! I'd like to see more on those curtains!

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  167. Jen, I'm enjoying both of your blogs greatly. Those penny buttons are cute as a, well, button. Please do wear gloves when you work with epoxy, though-- that stuff is nasty, trust me.

    WV: "mancess." Um, no comment.

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  168. LOVE both of the blogs! I would suggest looking into jewelry soldering to fuse together your pennies. Welding together the domes would probably be: 1. WAY too complicated, 2. it would not give you a seamless look, and 3. it might not work for something that small. Your best bet would be jewelry solder. I actually know something about soldering and MIG/TIG welding, (I'm a sculpture major in art school) but I would just look around your local book store or check online jewelry supply stores. They usually have an insane amount of books at great prices. I would suggest looking up The Naja, Rio Grande, and Indian Jewelry Supply. Indian Jewelry Supply usually has better prices and, in my opinion, a greater selection of books and tools. I hope this helps!

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  169. Wow - that doming tool is the coolest thing ever! I want one!
    My hubby and I are both creative and crafty (he's a woodworker and I'm into textiles and like to bake) and I can feel the gears in my head starting to spin just looking at your tutorial.
    I love posts like this and really like your new blog! It lets me embrace my SciFi geeky side :)
    thanks!

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  170. I really love your tutorials! It doesn't hurt that I've found every tutorial you've posted fascinating, but I figure anyone who isn't interested can scroll past them.

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  171. I love the randomness of this blog. I am a loyal cakewrecks fan and quickly bookmarked this blog when you announced it. I have enjoyed the fun finds you have written about and loved the Dragon*Con photos. I really liked the tutorial you wrote here and although I don't imagine I will be making pennies into buttons anytime soon, I enjoyed reading your take on the subject. In short, keep it up!

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  172. Amazing job Jen! Are you on craftster?

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  173. Ok, my first post.
    I JUST got back from the tool store, I got so excited seeing the coins that I had to run out and buy one of those!! My boys and I are going to start doming coins tonight.
    Thanks for the ideas, tutorials, pictures and advice. Love CW, love this blog too.
    Keep up the good work!

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  174. Tutorials are awesome!

    I also had no idea this doming kit was available. Looks soooooo cool. Will have to look into getting one myself.

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  175. I love this stuff too esp. since we recently cut up all our credit cards and are desperately trying get out of debt. On the cheap is great stuff. One thing I wanted to tell you: My kindergartner was looking over my shoulder while I read your blog yesterday and she said, "Hey Mom, the 'O' in epbot is the same as the power button!" I had never noticed that! Very cool.

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  176. this post means we will own a doming block in the near future. my husband, who also owns every tool there is, had also never heard of a doming block.

    those buttons are definitely nifty!

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  177. Steampunk is still rather a new term for me, but I really like seeing your creativity unfold. Tutor away!

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  178. well I started watching you a couple of months ago on wrecks, saw your post about starting this blog, and while I'm not normally a blog-o-holic, I couldn't resist and followed you to this site. With that said, I LOVE the difference between wrecks and here, totally! Keep up the totally random chatter, I love it :) plus, the tutorials make me think how I could fix MY house up (non steampunk but still...)

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  179. Yes! Keep the geek ideas/tutorials/chatter coming! : )

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  180. I love these "how-to" sort of things! I might never try them, but I enjoy reading them. Now I need to know what hardware store you found the doming block at, as I want one! :)

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  181. More please! It's like notMartha and Cake Wrecks have had a love child, and that can only be a good thing.

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  182. That is not only creative but ingenious to - my hubby and I LOVE it!! Way to go, I wonder if they have those here in South Africa - I will have to go look and report back :-)

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  183. read through all the comments to try not to reanswer. Here are my 2c

    dont ever ever EVER get the doming block or punches wet. Make sure whatever you put into them is dry. The steel will rust extremely fast and you will have a terrible (impossible without the right tools) time trying to repolish it.

    as another person posted dont bash at them too much, reheat your metals as they become work hardened.

    make sure you use the right punch for the right hole getting this wrong can do damage to your tools and then mark every thing else you ever make which adds too much time getting those marks out with tedious sanding etc

    Soldering the pennies shouldnt be terribly difficult if they are pure copper.. if they have zinc in them though its best not to solder them as heating zinc isnt the healthiest thing to do. You would be better finding a way of cold connecting them (rivets, glue etc)

    enough of my lecturing! have fun making stuff and if you get the bug id advise you try a small jewellery/metalsmithing course... i tried jewellery making as one of my uni subjects and got hooked almost finished my masters and next phd haha!

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  184. I follow two kinds of blogs: cake ones and craft ones. So definitely, YES PLEASE, more of tutorial-type thingies.

    wv - ingshoo: the feeling you get when trying to duplicate the amazing projects you see on blog tutorials, and ending up with much-less-than-perfect results.

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  185. This is so cool! I love how creative you are <3

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  186. I absolutely went straight to eBay and bought one of these tools! Oh the uses! As a costumer I'm so excited!! I love finding out about things I never knew existed, and I love the tutorial posts!

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  187. you could always weld the pennies together...

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  188. You might be able to use it to add bumps to copper sheets. Don't know what designs you might create, unless you're making a copper baby Dalek.

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  189. I like the tutorials gives me things to try out in my own crafting.

    Jen, if you aneal (heat) the pennies with a blow torch ( be super careful not to melt them) they will be easier to get into the dome shape and the hammering will harden them again.

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  190. the dome block is one of the things i miss about my art school's metals lab-
    did it come with instructions?
    because a lot of people don't realize you have to use a slightly smaller stake so the metal has room to move in the cup. and the right hammer, because te wrong kind of hammer can mess up your stakes /and/ the hammer head.

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  191. Pauline Warg wrote an amazing book on making metal beads that might be helpful to you: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Metal-Beads-Techniques-Inspiration/dp/1579907121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276458625&sr=8-1

    If you decide to try to solder, it's essential that you drill holes somewhere in at least one of the halves. If you don't, the bead can explode, sending hot metal shooting out at you, especially if there is trapped moisture in the center.

    Love everything you post!

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  192. We Gauche Alchemy Girls are WAY diggin' this!!!

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  193. I've tried using a jewelers torch on pennies and they melt really easily into a mess. I'm not sure I'd try soldering them.

    However you could buy sheet copper or brass or nickel and punch out circles (there is a tool for this that jewelers use too) and dome them and then solder those together.

    Riveting the penny halves together would look really cool too and it's super easy to do using a copper rod and a little domed hammer.

    You'd love a jewelry making class...so many cool tools and techniques are out there. The hydraulic jewelry press we used is very fun too - you can make puffed metal in any outline or stamp metal with coins or other durable items.

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  194. I too find this fascinating. And sad. There's an artist in Detroit doing something similar. Documenting our Detroit ruins.
    http://sixgreggs.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-home-town.html

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  195. keep 'em coming! I happen to love these sorts of things.

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  196. Brilliant! I love it! Thanks for the nifty idea, time to demolish all those Rubles I have lying around :)

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